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Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Sunderland’s January Preview: What have we got coming up this month?

It’s January and we still don’t really know if Sunderland are in a promotion race or just battling for a mid-table position. Here’s what’s to look out for this month…

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

FA Cup: Shrewsbury Town (A) 7.1.23

The FA Cup journey starts at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday. For the first time since the 2017/18 season, we are in the third round and we will be looking to make the fourth round for the first time since the 2014/15 season! It won’t be a straightforward task though, as lots of changes are anticipated for the Lads. Shrewsbury was never an easy place to go when we were in League One and we did only win there once in our four seasons.

One to Watch: Jordan Shipley

The ex-Coventry man has impressed in midfield for the Salopians this season. He seemed to enjoy playing against Sunderland when he played for Cov and scored a beauty of a goal in that 4-5 game in April 2019. He’ll be eager to get Shrewsbury through to the fourth round in the hopes of a big tie.

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Swansea City (H) 14.1.23

Like a lot of teams in the Championship this season, Swansea have been incredibly inconsistent. One game they look like Barcelona and the next they lose all tactical awareness and fold. They’ll go into the game 16th. As we know, however, this means very little as they are only four points off the playoffs.

One to Watch: Olivier Ntcham

Often deployed from the bench, the midfielder has five goals this season. He looked a class above in the game between us two earlier on in the season and could dominate our lack of physicality in that area of the pitch.

Swansea City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Middlesbrough (H) 22.1.23

We never seem to get it right against ‘Boro. They always look more up for it and come away from the game the happier team. In September we were a little unsettled, with the starting eleven having to be changed no more than 30 minutes before kick off. This meant the plan was scrapped and we had to play a different style without our star man.

One to Watch: Chuba Akpom

Since the arrival of Michael Carrick, Akpom has been in brilliant form. He scored a hat trick against Wigan on Boxing Day and is currently leading the way at the top of the race for the golden boot with 13 goals, his most productive season ever! The former Arsenal man will be a handful for our very own ex-Gunner Dan Ballard.

Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League 2 Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Rotherham United (A) 28.1.23

After a relatively good start to this season, Rotherham are now struggling since the departure of manager Paul Warne and find themselves in a relegation battle. As they look to break the trend of relegation in their last three Championship campaigns, the Millers will be hoping for a similar outcome to that of the game at the New York Stadium last season.

One to Watch: Dan Barlaser

Barlaser has attracted the attention of teams higher up in the Championship due to his composure on the ball, eye for a pass and technique. With that being said, it will be interesting to see if he is still with Rotherham come matchday. The Newcastle fan always finds his best form when he plays us and will be wanting to put right the result from August, in which Sunderland ran out 3-0 victors on Tony Mowbray’s maiden game.

Newcastle United Training Session Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images
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